So, I got connected with Odin spiritually through racism. Through opposing racism.
When a white supremacist vigilante group called the S*ldiers of Od*n (don’t want to give them visibility) was active in my town, I spoke up saying that as a person of Norse heritage and a Pagan I was entirely sure that Odin was not down with His name being used for the purpose of hating people. And then a few months later, I fell upside down on my head in sacred space at a Norse Pagan ritual and was given a bindrune, literally written over my eye on a broken eyeglass lens. It seemed Odin agreed with me, and had decided that if I was going to be on His team and speaking for Him, He’d claim me formally. I can’t really argue with that.
While you might think that being dumped on your head (and getting a very serious head injury) seems like a terrible way for a god to recruit a person, it actually was a very positive and transformative thing in the end. Like Odin does in His myths, I gathered wisdom from the ordeal, and rejuvenated myself by finally getting diagnosed with an autonomic nervous system dysfunction I hadn’t been aware of that had been holding me back for years. Since then, I’ve been able to manage it and go farther and faster toward where I need to be.
So I feel qualified to tell you that I have it on the highest authority that Odin is not interested in being the poster-god for racism.
I have a theory about gods who attract people who hate. I think that They are chosing to take these folks on, to hopefully transform some of them, and that we can help.
Take, for example, Jesus Christ. He’s not one of my gods, but I am not going to be disrespectful to or about him, because I don’t believe in disrespecting other people’s gods, and also because I don’t care to. As a follower of a goddess of Love, I think that a god of Love and self-sacrifice on behalf of others is at best, an ally, and at most, perhaps another name for the same divinity, Love. However, He sure has attacted a lot of bigots and haters to his churches. The KKK for example, consider themselves a Christian organization, and are most famous for burning symbols of their ‘faith’ on people’s lawns as acts of faith and hatred both. I’m sure we can all come up with other nominally Christian groups and persons who act in ways that are against the doctrine of loving your neighbour as yourself, and worse.
Back to my theory – if these folks actually connect with the energies of the gods they claim to worship, even if they initially do it as a way of enabling and supporting their bigotry, then those energies will transform them. And if this is what those gods intend, then they are truly taking one for the team, serving as transformative energies for the benefit of all of us. It seems to me that a god of loving self-sacrifice would devote himself to such a cause, to interact with the reprehensible in hope of transforming them. It is not good and kind people who need divine guidance (and sometimes a knock on the head) the most.
Surely a trickster boundary-crossing god like Odin is a good one to influence the events that happened recently – a heroic black police officer leading a mob of seditious racist trump cultists through a maze of hallways at great risk to his life, to keep them away from lawmakers? A series of events that went just far enough into the capital building to completely discredit (and impeach) not only their leader the soon to be ex-president, but also highlight those leaders still in power who also need to be removed? Would there have been the same clear resolve to remove him and prevent this from happening again, if security staff had been permitted to bar them more quickly and more effectively?
I have to believe that the Gods are working for good. And this is how I make sense of all of this.
For those of you who would like resources for undermining hatred within our Pagan communities – please see the following resources:
- Heathens against Hate
- Declaration 127
- Southern Poverty Law Centre’s discussion of Norse themed hate groups
Photo credit: Jørgen Larsen via Wikipedia
Mysselhøj, a danish gravemound from the early bronze age situated close to the danish town Roskilde.
Photo taken by Jørgen Larsen, 2007-04-07.
|Date||7 April 2007 (according to Exif data)|